Aging, Beginner's Mind, Buddhism, Closeted Dads, Compassion, Family Issues, Fathers, Flowers, Forgiveness, Gay Fathers, Healing, Home, joy, Life, Love, Magic, Mindfulness, Mothers and Sons, Personal Growth, Reconcilliation, relationships, Returning Home, spirituality, Vipassana, Zen
The ripples of Metta which had arrived via my iPhone straight from Katherine’s heart gave me sweet dreams and I eagerly awoke to an Indian Summer day under Ozark skies. I was excited and curious how the day might unfold. I had not seen my sister or her partner for six years as well which put us on even footing. They knew nothing of me and I knew nothing of them. It was as if we were meeting for the first time and of course from a Buddhist place – we were.
We began the day in that open space of kindliness and curiosity known in Zen circles as Beginner’s mind.
Well, as it turns out, not having any expectations of self or of the other presents opportunities for many possibilities to arise and so it was with Barbara and Gerry that understanding, humor, respect, graciousness, and kindness arose and we carried those energies with us to the house where the visit ritualistically took place.
The house hadn’t changed much. Physically, mother had changed very much. I was curious what I would sense/feel/remember back inside my first home, I was sensitive but not on hyper-alert. As it was, the energy felt mostly neutral and I quickly knew I could relax. I did not have an agenda but I did have a question and I knew that I would not know the answer to my question until I sat with her and we talked. As we visited I kept an ear open for a voice arising from my heart or my gut that might be a message from either Lil Bob or just Bob if either became distressed or defensive and if so I would pick up my sword of compassion and leave.
It might have been easy, I don’t really know, to have fallen back into the old ways, the old roles, the old perceptions, stories and tortured molds, but I didn’t and mom didn’t seem to be as nervously anxious and narcissistic as I’d pictured her in my mind – as I held her in storybook form. K had suggested and I had searched my heart deeply asking if there was truly anything I now needed from her and there wasn’t. Not love, not money, not praise, not appreciation, not forgiveness or friendship. Knowing this to be true and trusting in this child like space of Beginner’s mind, I did not have to be someone I had been before. I was free to choose. And she did not have to be who she used to be but was also free to be who she might be…..with me in those moments. We were both standing on old territory exploring it with new maps.
Neither of us knew what the next day much less the next moment might bring. We were simply open. And on some level as I sit here typing I do not as of yet know what the next moment or the next line might be for that it has been experienced it is not yet written……